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31 July


The first store of secondhand books open in Seoul

The range of the store consists of more than 120 thousand works of various genres

Photo: Yonhap

/NOVOSTIVL/ An old warehouse, used previously for storing American marketing giant Amway's products in southeastern Seoul, has been turned into the city's first public secondhand bookstore. This article appeared in The Korea Times.

The interior is striking. Round openings are built into the rows of iron-frame bookshelves, creating a tunnel. Visitors drift along this passageway, looking for a good read from the shelves stretching out on either side.

Around 120,000 secondhand books are on sale in this single-story, 1,400-square-meter store, called Seoul Book Repository. The books are supplied by 25 secondhand bookstores scattered around the city, most of which are located at at secondhand book street near Cheonggye Stream.

The books are grouped by supplier, allowing each bookstore to use its own cataloging system for its books on designated shelves. This allows the repository to wholly transfer a mini version of each bookstore into its space.

So far, Seoul Book Repository seems to be succeeding in its goal: provide small secondhand bookstores ― struggling against mega bookstore chains and online competition ― with an effective sales platform.